How did you go about the process ?
Was it a case of I know exactly the garment I want and the machine that makes it, now I just need to go and find the man ?
It became very clear that to produce that high quality and unbranded T Shirt it had to be made in Japan, and if possible, produced using a vintage knitting machine. Finding our esteemed producer was extremely fortuitous and then to discover they had been producing apparel for nearly 100 years was unbelievably lucky. Their long history brings with it a network of contacts, dyers, yarn and jersey makers that are a real "who’s who" of Japanese producers. They also had access to the those elusive knitting machines. Can you imagine as a rookie brand having access to all that knowledge: priceless.
We were in discussion with the producer for over 2 years before being allowed to place our first order and have our product knitted on that very special machine. During this period it was evident that we shared many values and we have slowly forged a great partnership. They offer unbelievable experience and production quality and we bring ideas that can help traditional garments become relevant in our fast fashion world. To say the partnership is blossoming is an understatement, they are an absolute joy to work with and we cannot believe how lucky we are.
For those of you who don’t know about these old machines, please allow me a few sentences to explain why they are seen as the holy grail of jersey and fleece production. This old analogue process can only produce just 1m of fabric per hour (a medium T Shirt needs roughly 1.2m), offering a jersey that has no side seams, no tension and like no other. They lay a long length of cotton yarn down in a very slow and circular motion, without any form of tension and drawing in air to sit between each layer. It is that special.
These machines were replaced in the 50’s by ones that can produce 100’s of metres of fabric per hour, where speed overtook quality as the primary aim. More human progress?